Tag Archives: inspiration

The Story in my Salad Bowl

There is a store here in Germany called Globus.  It’s equivalent to a U.S. Wal Mart, only much nicer.

It’s huge.  It’s intimidating.  Everything is written in German (of course) so most of the time I’m not totally sure of what I am buying.  It was the very first German grocery store I went to and the whole experience was terrifying.  (Seriously.  No joke.)

BUT, I will say they have a fabulous salad bar.  When my MIL said she wanted to go to Globus to get some authentic German Christmas decorations and ornaments – I immediately thought- salad bar!  Let’s go!

At Globus, I filled a plastic container with all kinds of colorful, fresh veggies – tri-colored bell peppers, jade green lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, sprouts and tuna fish.

Then, I made my way to the other side of the salad bar where there was antipasto- stuffed olives, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, stuffed grape leaves, artichoke hearts and various kinds of  cheeses lying in a pool of olive oil and spices.

With some tongs, I plucked a few of each of these mouth-watering goodies and plopped them on top of my salad.

Then I weighed my container on the scale located at the end of the salad bar, printed out the sticker that said how much I owed and proceeded to the check out line.

As I got to the front of the kasse (checkout), I put all of my items on the black belt.  When the middle-aged lady behind the counter picked up my container of salad, she frowned, looking at me.

In German, she said, “This is not all salad.  Some of this is antipasto.  They are supposed to be separate.”  She shook her head.  “They are different prices.”  She kept shaking her head as she rang up the rest of my items.

And, of course, my daughter, who was standing right next to me, kept asking me questions like, “What’s going on?  What happened?   What is she saying?”

Suddenly, I lost my appetite for my beautiful salad.

I didn’t know those two things were different prices!  I didn’t know they needed to be separated into different containers.

And, yet again, I felt like a stupid American in a foreign country who doesn’t know the rules and just got put in her place by a serious-looking German woman.

(On a positive side note- I did understand everything she was saying in German so at least my German is getting better!)

After I checked out and met my husband in the play area where he was hanging out with our 2 boys, I told him what happened.

He just shook his head and smirked.

“And she didn’t give me any stickers for the kids.”  They typically give a packet of stickers out to the kids.  I put my hands on my hips.  “Why didn’t she give us any stickers?”

He kind of half-smiled and said, “Well, you did kind of piss her off…”

Now, this is just a little thing that happened.  No big deal, right?

But, the thing is, when little things like this start piling up (which they have been doing since we moved here 3 months ago), it starts to get VERY frustrating.  It starts to wear on you.

Will I ever figure this stuff out?  Will I ever be able to go to a German grocery store and just have a “normal” shopping experience?

The good news is, I am not the only one who has had experiences like this.  In fact, I’ve talked to many, many fellow military spouses and here is what they have said:

  • Globus IS super terrifying
  • it takes 6 months to a year to get adjusted to everything here
  • they ALL have stories like this

Here are some things that I know:

  • it will get easier
  • it’s not always going to be like this
  • I am strong enough to handle this

On top of the salad bar incident, there was the beer debacle.

I’ll have myself a German beer every now and then.  After all – they are delicious!

Globus has a getrankemarkt (basically a drink market) where there are rows and rows of different beers – dark, light, hoppy, bitter, sweet – and wine – red, white, rose, blush, sweet, dry – and champagne.

Having recovered from being put in my place by the lady at the checkout counter, I wanted to check and see if they had any pumpkin beer before we left (because that is my ABSOLUTE favorite).

I wandered the aisles, carrying my infamous salad container in my hand.  I didn’t see any pumpkin beer.

I proceeded to leave…and got stopped by the lady at the checkout area of the getrankemarkt (there was only one way out).

She said, in German, “Do you need to pay for that?”

I shook my head.  “No,” I replied.  “I already paid for it.”  (This, I said in broken German because I wasn’t totally sure how to say it.)

She raised her eyebrows.  “Do you have the receipt?”

“Nein.  Meine mann hat die rezept.”  (No.  My husband has it.)

And yet again, I got the “head shake” for the second time that day.

She let me go, however, and you can be sure I high-tailed it out of there!

Here’s the thing – I can give up OR I can keep trying.

I can hide in my house, only go shopping on the American base and pretend like we are not in a foreign country…OR…I can embrace this.

I can learn the lessons.  And not repeat the same mistakes.

And, I am happy to say, that I did go to Globus again after this incident and I DID put the salad in a separate container from the anti-pasto and I did NOT have any issues!

My message, to you today than, is this:  Live your life.  Make mistakes.  Laugh at yourself.  Learn.  And move on.

Lastly, I wanted to share some GREAT recipes for winter salads with you!

Roasted Yam and Kale Salad

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/217266/roasted-yam-and-kale-salad/?internalSource=streams&referringId=17229&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=st_recipes_mades

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/230055/warm-brussels-sprout-salad-with-hazelnuts-and-cranberries/?internalSource=streams&referringId=17229&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=st_trending_s

I hope you enjoy!!!!

And don’t forget – share this post on your social media sites and with all of your friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Give Up Or Give In

We have two choices:  We can either give up OR we can give in…

You may be thinking, “Um, what’s the difference?”

Stick with me, kid, and I’ll let you in on a little secret.

When you think of “giving up”, what automatically comes to mind?

give

Maybe something along the lines of –

Failing…Losing…Less than…Without…

The official definition of “giving up” is: cease making an effort, resign oneself to failure.

What about “giving in”?  What words pop into your head now?

Back down…Submit…Quit…Concede…

Here is the official definition of “giving in”: cease fighting or arguing; yield; surrender.

Both of these phrases tend to have a negative connotation BUT…if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know we aren’t about the negativity here.

What if “giving in” meant something else?

What if “giving in” meant that you were giving in to your goals, to your dreams and desires…that you were in fact surrendering to them and letting them happen (and making them happen) INSTEAD OF “giving up”.

There are a plethora of reasons people “give up” before they even begin… because it seems too hard or you don’t think you can do it or others don’t think you can do it or you don’t have time or you don’t have the money or you have kids or you work too much or you have too many obligations or you are too tired or you don’t know where to start or…I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Giving up is easy.  It’s for amateurs.  It’s for the nay-sayers.  It’s for the weak.  For the faint of heart.

It is NOT for YOU.

Giving in…that’s what YOU need to FOCUS on.

they

GIVING in to your fear…letting it engulf you…envelope you…cocoon you…because you know that if it scares the hell out of you…than that is exactly what you should be going for.

Give in to your imagination.  Picture what it will be like when you fit into those jeans or write that novel or buy the house on the beach or have the job you want or the relationship you desire.

Give in to the BIG goals.  And I mean BIG- things that you think others were meant to accomplish instead of you.  Things that you are scared to even say out loud because you’re afraid others may laugh at you.

girl

Give in to what you want…to what you can’t stop thinking about…to what keeps you up at night…

Give in to THAT.

And…when you do…there is NOTHING you can’t do.

Perspective is Everything

It all started with a Facebook post…a Facebook memory, actually, that a woman shared on her Timeline recently.

when1

It was a picture of her daughter, 2 years ago, sitting poolside, in a tankini, eating a sandwich.  It was summer.  The sky was a crystal clear blue.   The sun was glistening off the gentle waves in the water.

The caption she wrote with the picture reads:  Really missing our pool days this year.

See, her daughter, who is 7, is fighting cancer for a  second time.  And instead of spending the summer outside, drinking up the sun and swimming, she and her daughter are spending their time rotating between the children’s hospital and The Ronald McDonald House.

Here is where the perspective part comes in…

I have three, healthy children but they have been driving me crazy this summer.  There’s been a lot of bickering and not listening and acting out because Daddy is away at school.

I have found SEVERAL gray hairs that were not there a few months ago.  I have had more wine in the past couple of months than I have had in the past year.

It takes 2 hours, literally, for us to get ready to go to the pool.  There’s the packing of the pool bag (which is often interrupted by breaking up fights between my children) – change of clothes for 4 people, snacks, water bottles, extra swim diapers, baby wipes.

Then there’s the part where I have to get all the kids changed into their swimsuits.  I have to fight with my toddler to put it on because everything is “no” these days.

Then there’s the part where I have to get them into the car.  This, as many of you Mamas know, is like herding cats.  All of the sudden they can’t find their shoes that I have been asking them to put on for the last 30 minutes.  And then the baby makes a dirty diaper and I have to change him.  And then my daughter decides she needs to bring 5 books, 3 dolls and a pen and paper so she can writer her own book.

“Can you carry these, Mommy?”  She asks me as she thrusts her superfluous items into my hands, which are already full with a  pool bag, diaper bag and a baby in a car seat.

By the time I get everyone strapped into their seats – I’m exhausted.

There were days this summer that I found myself hoping it would rain so that going to the pool wasn’t an option.  Sometimes I would find excuses as to why we couldn’t go.  Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes and losing my patience as I tried to get everything ready while they yelled at each other about whose turn it was to play with the little red car.

And then…that post popped up in my Newsfeed…and I thought – Well, shit.

Those two, that Mama and her daughter, would give anything to be able to go to the pool every single day, no matter how long it took them to get ready.

This weekend, I took the kids to the pool every day.  And as I wrestled my toddler into his bathing suit, stopped to feed the baby and packed the millions of things into the pool bag, I was grateful.

pool

So grateful that I could take my kids to the pool…that we could spend the afternoon there and play Sharks and Minnows and eat watermelon.

Life is ALL about what you make of it.

There are some things you can’t control, of course.  BUT – there are some things you most definitely can – like your thoughts and perspective.

If you change your perspective, does that change everything?

My answer:  YES.  (Case and point:  I happily packed up the pool bag this afternoon PLUS packed dinner for all the kiddos and the whole time I was thinking – even as my toddler, in nothing but his swim diaper, ran away from me as I tried to get him changed – this is going to be fun)

NEVER lose sight of what is TRULY important.

We live in a busy world.  It’s easy to take things for granted.

I will continue to try to do better.  I hope you do, too.

If you would like to learn more about this little girl’s story or how you can help through monetary donations, then go here:

https://www.facebook.com/TeamSavannahFightingLeukemia/

Fear is Fuel

me fearYou know that feeling you get as you contemplate doing something big?  Making a big change?  Making a huge leap?  Taking a chance?

 

Your stomach tightens.  Your heart beats like a hummingbird’s wings.  Maybe your hands shake.  A thousand thoughts race through your head simultaneously yet you are able to pinpoint what each one is trying to tell you – STOP –  they all say.

“Don’t do it.  Go back.  It’s too scary.  It’s not going to work.”

And then…the “what if’s” start…

What if people think it’s a dumb idea?

What if I fail?

What if I lose money?

What if I can’t figure it out?

What if people criticize me?

What if…what if…what if…

All of this…all of these counter-productive thoughts and jittery feelings can be summarized in one four-letter word…

FEAR.

People think “fear” is an ugly word – BUT – what if it weren’t?

191072-Everything-You-Want-Is-On-The-Other-Side-Of-Fear

When fear wells up inside of you, what if, instead of backing off, you embrace it?  What if you welcome it with open arms, knowing that when you feel that fear it means you are onto something…it means that you are heading in the right direction?

Kind of counter-intuitive, right?

But, think about it for a  minute.  If something is easy, is it scary?

No, of course not.  Because it’s easy.  If it’s easy, you know you won’t fail – you know the outcome.

The unknown can be down right terrifying.  The “what-if’s” are never scarce and the critics are constantly whispering in your ear.

If you are afraid…that is when you know you are CLOSE – close to something big.  Close to something life-changing.  Close to EXACTLY where you need to be.

Fear means…go for it!  Go for what makes you want to pee your pants.

If it’s easy, it’s not really worth having.  It has little value.

It’s safe to NOT try.  It’s safe to remain comfortable, to keep doing the same thing – day in and day out.  It’s safe to stay with the status-quo and do the ORDINARY things everyone else around you is doing.

BUT

If you want to be EXTRAordinary…then there is a different path for you.

If it’s HARD.  If it’s SCARY.  If you can’t imagine life without it (“it” refers to whatever your particular goals are) then it is PRICELESS.  All the hard work…the time…the effort…the energy…it will all be WORTH it.

Fire

Use that FEAR to FUEL your fire…to ignite your desires…to smoke the nay-sayers and to light up your life in ways you have only dreamed about.

 

 

 

 

 

If you found this post helpful or motivating, please comment AND share it on your favorite social media platform.

You can find me on Facebook @thisfitlife

And Then There Was Light

Darkness comes before the light.

You’ve heard that before, right?  BUT have you ever stopped to really think about what it means?   To think about how that simple, yet powerful phrase, applies to so many aspects of your life?  Of any of our lives?

even

Life isn’t easy.  Let’s just say that and get that out of the way because anyone who has been on this planet for more than 5 years (and hasn’t been living in a bubble) can attest to that.

“Darkness” can refer to SO many things – pain, depression, tragedy, relationship problems, health problems, addiction, career issues…the list could literally, go on and on.

If there wasn’t darkness, would you be able to appreciate the light?  To appreciate the good things that come your way as the black veil dissipates and the light shines through?

To be honest, for me, I’m not so sure I would be able to.  It seems, when you’ve had pain or struggle or any kind of “darkness”, the good stuff that eventually comes your way is SO much sweeter because of it.  (It’s kind of like when you put a pinch of salt in cookie batter – it brings out the sweetness exponentially.)

Is that human nature?  Or me just not being able to appreciate something without a kick in the pants?  My guess is – it’s probably a little of both.

Here are some things that I believe and have learned about darkness:

  1. The hard times are…well…HARD but they WILL be followed by good times.  I truly believe that no matter what you are struggling with, there will come a time when it is only a distant memory.
  2. It makes you STRONGER.  You will be amazed at how capable you truly are.
  3. There is a REASON for it.  It may not be evident at first (or for a long time) but I truly believe there is a reason for everything – whether it’s to teach you something, teach someone else something, or pave the way for others.

We will all have to suffer through darkness in our lives – in varying degrees- for short or extended periods of time.  There’s no doubt – it’s part of being alive.

BUT

Here is something else I believe:  There WILL be LIGHT in the end.

sunrise

Stay strong.  Keep fighting.  What you want…what you need…is on the other side of the black night.